How Music Works
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Playing with Scales

Playing with Scales

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8)  Playing with Scales

Earlier, we looked at how the Major scale forms the basis of western music, and we have also seen several other scale types.

It is a cliché that practising scales is the most monotonous aspect of learning music.  To an extent this is true, but the rewards can be enormous.

When you are fluent with scales, you will understand and communicate in the language of music with great freedom.  Here are the main benefits of learning and practising scales:

1. Playing From Sheet Music - Most sheet music is written in a standard key, usually one of the Major scales.  When your hands are familiar with the notes of these scales, you will play much more easily and make fewer mistakes.

2. Playing By Ear - When you know a tune, but don't have the music for it, knowing your scales will make it much easier to work out how to play the tune from memory, by narrowing down which notes could be in it.

3. Improvisation - This is the art of spontaneously making up a melody to suit a piece of music.  It is one of the most challenging and yet rewarding aspects of musicianship.

This tutorial is a journey through the foundations of improvisation.  When you understand where true musical fluency can lead you, it will keep you focused and motivated as you practice your scales day by day.

ChordWizard products contain a collection of standard scale types, including those in this topic, and provide powerful tools for working with scales of all types.

These include tools for exploring how scales are played on your instrument, finding scales for improvising over chords, conducting interactive scale practice sessions, and printing scale reports.

 

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